Chapter 4 : Righteous Recovery
“Lanski!” Jasmine lunged forward, and grabbed her good friend. The latter did stop, too, and stared with her big blue eyes back at Jasmine, already knew what the other was going to say.
Nevertheless, Jasmine was still going to say it, “Lanski, how about this, I’ll go steal the Dragon Cross Necklace, while you find a way to put it on the Paladin’s forehead. Just don’t…”
“Jasmine.” Lanski said softly.
Jasmine felt goosebumps on her skin. Lanski, in her gentle posture, was the hardest for Jasmine to handle, but this was a matter of her friend’s life! How could she possibly standby and watch when Lanski’s life was in danger, act as if she didn’t know, and ask her to go save Liola?
Lanski smiled, then grabbed the other girl’s hand. She obviously knew Jasmine was worried about her. If the situation was reversed, and Jasmine became the person whose life was in danger, Lanski felt her reactions would’ve been far more emotional. Perhaps she would’ve knocked out Jasmine, then drag her into a prison cell. As such, Lanski knew, it was her duty to first convince her good friend.
“Jasmine, we both saw what Liola had become. If you have to look at Liola like that from this point on, would you not be willing?” Lanski asked softly.
Jasmine was quiet. If she had been willing to do that, she wouldn’t have grabbed Lanski and ran to the Astronomy Tower to see Mocha the moment she saw Mizerui being captured.
“You’re not willing to, and neither am I.” Lanski continued firmly, “If I have to watch the face of the person I love, but not see a strand of the expression I once knew, I’d rather risk my life to return Liola to how he was before. And I believe, if you were the one in danger today, you would be even more determined, nor would you ever turn back, so you have no reason to stop me.”
Hearing this, Jasmine’s shoulders dropped. It was correct, it was precisely the reason why she didn’t have any reason to stop Lanski. Knowing full well no words could stop her, Jasmine had no choice but let her good friend continue. Nevertheless, she did strangely insisted on one thing.
“Go find Cappuccino for help.” Jasmine said firmly.
Lanski was actually quite surprised, “I thought you always disliked my third brother?”
Jasmine looked awkward for a moment, and explained, “That was before, but now I realized Cappuccino doesn’t seem as stupid, and instead, he seemed to know quite a few things. If we can get him to help, we should be able to avoid many dangers.”
“You are right.” Lanski nodded, “Judging from what happened before, third brother really didn’t seem as stupid as he looked…”
“You’re wrong. His brain is stupider than his looks.” Little Fireball poked its head out and said coldly.
“Can we not talk about idiot this, idiot that? Do I really look that stupid?” Cappuccino crouched in a corner while doodling on the ground.
“No, your looks are fine. At least the blood of the Dragon Emperor is helping you a bit.” Little Fireball held Cappuccino’s face seriously and said, “Unfortunately, lights of stupidity seep through your eyes, exposing the truth about your brain.”
“There’s no such thing as light of stupidity…”
“Oh really? If it weren’t for Mocha’s warnings, you would’ve dragged the Dragon Emperor to see beautiful girls, and then get KO’d 100 times when he gets annoyed.” Little Fireball glared at Cappuccino.
Cappuccino complained, “How would I have known father suddenly changed? He used to only look at me and laugh, and he would never get angry…”
Lanski widened her eyes, staring at the two who jumped out of nowhere. She couldn’t believe they could just sit here and joke.
“Sister.” Cappuccino held a bitter face, and asked sadly, “Do my eyes look really stupid?”
“Uh…” Lanski hesitated. After a careful look, she did think they looked a bit stupid. But as his sister, she couldn’t very well say her brother was stupid, right? She said tactfully, “They don’t look that stupid.”
A light of hope emerged in Cappuccino’s eyes, but then his own Fiery Dragon rained down on his parade, “Not that stupid, still means fairly stupid.”
Cappuccino fell to the ground, quietly crying.
“If you’re still not willing to help save your own brother, then you would really be the stupidest person in history!” Jasmine crouched next to Cappuccino and said seriously.
Cappuccino’s body went rigid. He raised his head, and said bitterly, “If I didn’t want to save Liola, did you really think Little Fireball and I are here only to joke with you?”
Jasmine asked back in shock, “Aren’t you?”
“Nevermind. Little Fireball, let’s go, since nobody thinks anything of us…” Cappuccino said in a depressed manner, and turned around to walk, with clouds glooming over him.
“What do you mean no one thinks anything of us! The author has always been thankful we were able to provide comic relief in tense situations…” Little Fireball said as it followed.
“Wait! Third brother, we need your help!” Lanski yelled anxiously.
Though he had a depressed face and wanted to leave, but Cappuccino’s was walking at the speed of ten “meters” per hour. At same time, his ears were sharper even than the legendary Elf. As soon as the first syllable of Lanski’s “wait” was said, Cappuccino’s right foot stopped in mid-air.
And before she finished the word “help”, Cappuccino had already zoomed back to his sister’s side, with a face that said, ‘I’m a good brother, and I’m willing to do anything for my baby sister.’
“Sister! Just tell me, no matter what you ask me to do, I’m willing to…”
“Go capture Lancelot?” Lanski’s eyes glared with innocence.
‘Did I hear this right? She’s asking Cappuccino to go capture Lancelot? Or let Lancelot capture Cappuccino? It sounds like it should be the latter…’ Little Fireball observed coldly.
Cappuccino’s smile froze, and asked to confirm, “Who did you ask me to capture? Blood Wolf? No problem, I’ll just put some drugs in his wine…”
“The Paladin.” Lanski said seriously.
“Huh? I think you made a mistake? You meant the Dark Knight, right?” Cappuccino still wouldn’t let this go.
“Third brother!” Lanski yelled, slightly angry.
Cappuccino’s face turned bitter, and his voice trembling, “S-sister! Lancelot, do you know what the word “Lancelot” represents? He’s a legendary Knight, the idol of all Knights! Other than our own father, he’s probably the guy we don’t want to mess with the most! D-do you want to see me spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair?”
“However, if we don’t capture him, how would we press the Dragon Cross Necklace on his forehead?” Lanski was worried.
Hearing this, Cappuccino didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry, “Sister! If you want to put the necklace against his forehead, we don’t really have to tie him up, right? As stubborn as Lancelot may be, he is reasonable. It’s more feasible to convince him. To capture him… I think I have to train a few hundred more years before I can help you.”
‘Might as well wait until Lancelot dies and capture his corpse. Capture him in person? Don’t even think about it.’ Little Fireball thought coldly.
Cappuccino coughed loudly, then showed a determined look, “That will be our plan! Let’s go to brother’s room and steal the necklace first.”
It looked like he actually enjoyed doing something covert; Little Fireball slowly shook its head.
* * *
“Lancelot, how about a drink?”
Having sent his colleague Mizerui, who also served the royalty, into jail and giving him free prison food, Blood Wolf still acted like his usual carefree self. He laughed as he asked Lancelot to have a drink.
Lancelot shook his head. He couldn’t be as chic as Blood Wolf. Seeing Liola… no, the now Silver Moon, the successor, and his strange actions, plus Daylight’s words, all these made Lancelot sense something was wrong, but he had no idea what exactly the problem was.
“Blood Wolf, don’t you think Silver Moon is completely different than before?”
Lancelot’s blue eyes stared at Blood Wolf. He had always known Blood Wolf knew about Silver Moon better than him, just that he had rarely asked.
Blood Wolf raised his eyebrow, “So what? No matter how he is, when he becomes the Dragon Emperor, we would all have to follow his orders. Unless you tell me, you would stop obeying the Dragon Emperor just because of his strange personalities?”
Lancelot looked deeply at Blood Wolf, and said slowly, “Isn’t this a bit more than just a strange personality? Blood Wolf, you’re hiding something from me.”
Blood Wolf frowned, and joked, “Of course, there are many things I’ve hid from you. For example, a while ago, I got with a super hot girl, but I didn’t tell you. Also, Cappuccino and I had a bet whether you’re a briefs or a boxers kind of guy, and I never told you, but I lost the bet.”
Despite Blood Wolf’s ridiculous reply, Lancelot remained quiet, and his blue eyes still fixed on Blood Wolf. However, the latter was considerably more shameless, so all he did was looked back innocently.
“Why won’t you tell me?” Lancelot said with a bit of frustration. He was sure Blood Wolf knew of many things, but was simply unwilling to tell him.
Hearing this, Blood Wolf laughed bitterly in his head. ‘Lancelot, bro! Could I really just tell you that, in the past hundreds of years, you’ve been fooled by the Dragon Emperor? If I did, I’d either be slaughtered by the Dragon Emperor, or my old friend, you.’
Tsk! Blood Wolf deeply believed living shamelessly than dying honorably.
Lancelot saw Blood Wolf kept his innocent look, and he knew there was nothing he could do to get Blood Wolf to spill the truth. Nevertheless, he was now even more certain, there was something he didn’t know.
Daylight, that young Knight, Lancelot could practically smell the righteousness coming off the young boy. So why would such a righteous Knight be on his opposing side? Righteousness had always been the opposite of evil, could it mean that he himself represented evil?
No! This was something he would never allow to happen. He had to find out the truth. If Blood Wolf wouldn’t tell him the truth, he might as well go look for Silver Moon.
After deciding on it, Lancelot immediately turned to leave. Blood Wolf immediately grabbed him, and Lancelot surprisely turned while inquiring with his eyes. Blood Wolf asked helplessly, “What are you doing?”
“To go speak to Silver Moon.” Lancelot answered simply.
“Why would you go talk to him? He’s still in Aklan continent, and we’ve just returned from there. How about a drink with your old friend first?” Blood Wolf widened his eyes. Wouldn’t speaking to Silver Moon be the same thing as talking to the Dragon Emperor? What a joke! Plus, even a blind person could tell, Silver Moon was in a craze… In any case, he must stop him first.
Lancelot ignored Blood Wolf. He summoned the unicorn and was about to go. He knew full well that his friend’s mouth was quite powerful, so if he didn’t want to be affected, the best way was to completely ignore him.
Seeing Lancelot ignoring him, Blood Wolf was now anxious! The Dragon Emperor now obviously had a useful and obedient Knight as a son and, truthfully, he probably didn’t care much about the Paladin now. Blood Wolf didn’t wish to see his old friend turned into a “person in the legends”, and then disappear from this world.
Though the power of the Paladin wasn’t to be underestimated, but the Dragon Emperor would never give him an honorable fight!
Lancelot paused, and he turned to look at Blood Wolf, with doubts on his face. Even Blood Wolf thought it was strange, he hadn’t even said anything.
“Sir Paladin, please, wait a moment.”
Lanski and Jasmine ran over while trying to catch their breaths. They saw the Paladin about to leave from afar, and they were also very anxious. Who knew when this Paladin would return if he were to leave?
Lancelot’s mind was full of questions now. He looked as the two girls ran to him. Truthfully, he was quite surprised; he had never had much interaction with the Princess, so why would she suddenly come to look for him? Though Lancelot was skeptical, he still got off the unicorn to wait for the Princess’s arrival.
“Hold this for a moment.”
Lancelot’s eyes were fixed on Princess Lanski. When he heard this, his reached out his hands instinctively, but felt a burning pain on his hand. He immediately withdrew his head, and decided he was under attack. His white Aura exploded from his left hand as he attacked with it.
However, a black Aura blocked him. Blood Wolf yelled anxiously, “Wait! It’s Cappuccino.”
Lancelot paused. He looked over, and sure enough, it was Cappuccino with a pale face. It was obvious that, because the attack almost connected on him, he was deep in shock.
“Third Prince, why would you attack me?” Lancelot’s lips were tight, and his face showed unhappiness. Even as a royalty, he shouldn’t have attacked a Knight at his will.
Cappuccino was now hiding behind Blood Wolf. With only half of his body showing, he quibbled, “I didn’t attack you, I just asked you to hold a necklace. See! The necklace is in Blood Wolf’s hand, and he’s just fine!”
Lancelot looked towards Blood Wolf, whom scratched his face. He opened his palm, and a necklace was indeed lying on top of it, and it was the Dragon Cross Necklace Lancelot had been familiar with. Blood Wolf looked completely fine; there was no signs of him being burnt.
‘Only I would get burnt by it?’ Lancelot’s doubts grew. Long ago, when he was retrieving the necklace, he knew it would burn him. But at the time, he thought it must be others putting magic on the necklace that caused it, but now… why? The Dragon Cross had long been back with the royalties, and neither Blood Wolf nor the Prince were burnt by it.
An elegant, white hand lightly grabbed the Dragon Cross Necklace from Blood Wolf’s palm. Lancelot raised his eyes, and realized it was the Princess who was running towards him.
“Sir Paladin, can you please put this necklace against your forehead?” Lanski pleaded directly.
“Why?” Lancelot’s doubts grew even more, but Lanski pleaded him in front of so many people, he couldn’t believe the Princess’s intentions were anything malicious.
“A-are you guys crazy?”
Blood Wolf was in shock that his tears almost fell out of his eyes. It was understandable to him that Lanski would do something this stupid, after all, she had only recently found out something wrong with her own father. But Cappuccino… why would he do this as well? He should had long known that the entire palace fell within the Dragon Emperor’s fingertips.
Cappuccino squinted, and said quietly, “Don’t worry, eldest brother asked me to help Lanski with this.”
Mocha? Knowing the eldest Prince sent them, Blood Wolf became quiet. He knew of the Eldest Prince’s power, and if he was the one who sent them, they must be able to hide it from the Dragon Emperor.
“Blood Wolf, what’s going on?” Lancelot saw Blood Wolf being silent, and he was even more puzzled.
Hearing Lancelot’s inquisition, Blood Wolf scratched his head, and yelled, “Who cares about all that! After all, Lancelot, living like this isn’t really bad, you don’t really have to know everything, do you?”
“Blood Wolf!” Cappuccino didn’t expect for Blood Wolf not to help them, and he yelled anxiously. He had originally hoped Blood Wolf would be able to help them convince the Paladin, but why had the reversed happened?
Hearing Blood Wolf’s words, Lancelot instead reached out his hand, and grabbed the necklace dangling from the Princess’s hand without any hesitation. In a moment’s notice, a smell of burnt human flesh came out of Lancelot’s tight fists, to the point of nauseating. Everyone widened their eyes, staring at the legendary Paladin.
Lancelot slowly relaxed his fist, and looked at it. His palm was now charred, and looking to the side, there was blood. The Knight’s face was skeptical, but was not warped because of the pain. He slowly raised his head, and said,
“I don’t mind if I know absolutely nothing, other than righteousness, and that’s the only thing I insist on knowing.”
Having said that, he put the entire Dragon Cross Necklace onto his forehead without any hesitation. Every looked as the Paladin’s clear forehead slowly turning red. After a smell of burning flesh, his skin slowly turned black.
Lancelot did nothing but bit his lip. Other than the sweat running down his face, he didn’t make a single sound. Suddenly, the Dragon Cross Necklace emitted a blinding light. Without closing their eyes in time, everyone were temporarily blinded by the light. Before Blood Wolf covered his eyes, he heard Lancelot’s grunt.
“Lancelot? Lancelot?” He immediately yelled anxiously, but he didn’t receive any sort of response after several calls. Worried, he forced his eyes open, and he could vaguely see Lancelot on one knee, with his hands covering his face.
Could he be hurt? With a blurred vision, Blood Wolf forced himself to walk up to Lancelot, and then put his hand on the Paladin’s shoulder.
“Lancelot? Are you okay?”
Lancelot, however, could not hear Blood Wolf’s call, because the Dragon Cross Necklace had not only rid him of the Dragon Emperor’s hypnosis, but also made him “see” everything clearly. A series of images barged into Lancelot’s minds, which tested the endurance of both his soul and mind.
Blood Wolf shook his head, trying to shake off the daze. His sight had returned to normal now. He looked at Lancelot, whom still had his face buried in his hands. Nevertheless, from what Blood Wolf can see between Lancelot’s fingers, he was unharmed. Blood Wolf now felt slightly relaxed, but then he suddenly heard the man ask,
“Blood Wolf… am I really stupid?”
“Uh… just a tiny bit.” Blood Wolf scratched his face. Now, he understood Lancelot might have already known the truth. After knowing he had been fooled for several hundreds of years, this impact was probably going to be quite severe.
Lancelot slowly lowered his hands, and his face was covered with a bitter smile, with tears running down his cheeks, “Blood Wolf, Knights may not lie.”
Blood Wolf’s mouth went into an O shape. He would have never imagined that Lancelot would shed tears over this. How could this… if anyone were to tell him Lancelot would cry for five minutes, he would’ve bet every single cent he had against that person. The Paladin, Lancelot, was one to bleed before he would shed a tear, but now… Damn! Luckily there was no bet, or he would’ve been penniless by now.
“Do you really have to be this exaggerated?” Blood Wolf asked with a stammer.
Lancelot slowly stood up, while holding his face tightly, he said word for word, “Exaggerated? I actually served Caffey’s enemy* for hundreds of years. This is no longer something exaggerated can describe. Although I, Lancelot, was oblivious of it, but I would never use negligence as an excuse to escape my punishment. As soon as I help Silver Moon… no, Liola recover his sanity, I will ask him for my punishment.”
[T/N: Lancelot is referring to the Dragon Emperor’s heart, which took away Caffey’s personality.]
Everyone froze as they couldn’t understand what Lancelot was talking about. Blood Wolf murmured to himself, “What’s the situation now? Could the Dragon Cross Necklace be so hot that it cooked Lancelot’s brain? Why is he talking even more ridiculous things than me now?”
Lancelot noticed everyone’s shocked looks. He knew something was off, and asked, “You guys don’t know?”
Everyone shook their heads. It was now Lancelot’s turn to be confused. Through the Dragon Cross Necklace, he knew about all the truths, including the secrets of the Dragon Emperor’s heart, but he thought everyone else knew. Judging from the situation now, he was the only one who knew about it.
Seeing everyone was confused, Lancelot began to explain the truths the Dragon Cross Necklace told him…
* * *
“I see, no wonder! No wonder father would turn into how he is now! Damn, I a-actually let him cause Susanna’s death!” Cappuccino practically held his fists and yelled, with anger on his face.
Lanski had never seen Cappuccino act like this. To Lanski, her father had always been like this. Though she had heard her third brother talk about how their father used be, but she had never thought much of it. After all, their father was now nothing like the clueless idiot her brother had talked about.
“Lucky…” Jasmine’s face was pale, “If Liola also ate the heart, t-then…”
“Never! I, Lancelot, swear on my honor, I will never let the successor fall victim to it.” Lancelot’s blue eyes shone, showing his determination.
Blood Wolf had a strange expression. He asked hesitantly, “Lancelot, although His Highness was possessed by the Dragon Emperor’s heart, it still is the ‘Dragon Emperor’s heart’. In other words, it’s still the first Dragon Emperor, and the person who founded Knights. All in all… he still seems to be our boss?”
Everyone made various different expression after hearing. Cappuccino looked like he had an impulse to beat Blood Wolf up, but Little Fireball held him back. Lanski and Jasmine seemed a bit loss. As for the person Blood Wolf spoke to, Lancelot turned around, and his blue eyes stared directly at Blood Wolf. Surprisingly, he began to smile and said, “Stop pretending, Blood Wolf.”
Blood Wolf raised his eyebrows. Lancelot continued, “If you really cared about the title of Dragon Emperor, you wouldn’t have opposed the Dragon Emperor so often. Now that I think about it, the time when you started to purposely oppose the Dragon Emperor was exactly when Caffey…” Lancelot paused, with sadness on his face.
Blood Wolf tilted his head uneasily, and he still tried to act tough, “I was just doing whatever I wanted; I didn’t think about all that.”
Cappuccino, who was holding his fist up moments ago, paused and put down his fist, but then immediately raised it again, and punched Blood Wolf’s shoulder as hard as he could. He yelled, “You damn wolf, I really want to tear your big mouth up!”
[T/N: Pun-ish in Chinese, it really carries very little actual meaning. Cappuccino called Blood Wolf a wolf and then a big mouth (author used duck mouth here), so his response had something to do with him being both a wolf and a duck, or some weird mix of the two.]
“Do it then! I dare you to!” Blood Wolf snapped back, but he didn’t know, his face was completely red from blushing.
“Anyhow, the job of awakening Liola will definitely be yours, Blood Wolf.” Cappuccino yelled loudly.
“Yes, Your Highness!” Blood Wolf answered like a hooligan with a disrespectful tone.